The weekend is finally here and with it there are a new set of releases, you know the drill by now. And so for the second new release of the weekend, I decided to watch the Telugu PAN India film Radhe Shyam starring Prabhas. The film had quite some buzz leading upto its theatrical release with so many people calling it a fantasy world with a magnum scale. But unfortunately, in a typical David vs Goliath fashion, the small film The Kashmir Files with almost no marketing, surged so high that even a biggie like Radhe Shyam could not punch above its weight. The film also did meet with its fair share of criticism for its Hindi version, particularly as it was Prabhas who seemed uncomfortable while mouthing a few hindi lines. And so while the Hindi version awaits its OTT release, telugu version of Radhe Shyam made its way to Amazon Prime. And I jumped at the opportunity. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Radhe Shyam follows the story of a palmist who doesn’t believe in love yet falls for a Doctor. Will fate have other plans for them? The story is decently good here and a trivia told me that this is the most expensive love story mounted in Indian cinema. And it did show in the locales and even the VFX. But that would amount to nothing if the screenplay was weak or even badly executed. Which is exactly the case here. The first half is decent with a love story blossoming against some scenic visuals of Rome. The screenplay had a bit of a vibe to it making it a moderately breezy watch. The use of palmistry was put to good use here culminating into an interesting interval point where a twist is introduced.
The issue though begins from here. The second half which ought to have projected the love stoty at another level just falls flat. The lead protagonists have almost zero chemistry between each other and the writing is spread out too thin. Come to think of it, some of the twists seemed so half-hearted that I began to lose interest in the drama. But the writing goes from bad to worse, almost going haywire to a point of getting illogical. The climax was possibly the worst I have seen in a very long time. So in other words the screenplay is a very big letdown.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are strictly okay with almost no moments created through the lines. The music is melodious and quite beautiful and it is a pity that the zero chemistry between the lead pair drowns the music too is a big way. The BGM is worthy of a mention. The cinematography is breathtaking capturing some of the visuals so beautifully. The VFX are pretty good although you can make out that the second half was processed during the lockdown instead of actual locations which dilutes the VFX in a big way. Director Radha Krishna Prasad loses the plot after the halfway mark. His execution is perhaps one of the weakest parts of the film next to only the writing. Safe to say his direction misses the mark.
The performances are strictly average but it angered me more than some of the most seasoned performers hardly had anything to do. Priyadarshe, Murli Sharma, Jagapathi Babu, Kunal Roy Kapoor and Bhagyashree all are just reduced to props. Riddhi Kumar is impressive in her extended cameo. Pooja Hegde as Peerana looks very pretty and is one of the saving grace of the film. I would even stick my neck out and say that this was her career’s best performance! Prabhas as Vikram Aditya was rather inconsistent. It wouldn’t be fair to expect a Bahubali level performance but even otherwise he wasn’t quite able to evoke the right kind of emotions. Safe to say that the Hindi Dub would be even worse if the Telugu one doesn’t work.
Radhe Shyam is high on glitz but low on substance. You have been warned, watch it at your own risk. Available on Amazon Prime.